The Zimbabwe B Type Bush Pump

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The Zimbabwe Bush Pump. This hand pump has been used in Zimbabwe since 1933, when it was first designed by Tommy Murgatroyd in Plumtree. It was restyled in the 1960's by Cecil Anderson and again by Dr. Peter Morgan, of the Blair Research Laboratory in 1987, when it became known as the Zimbabwe Bush Pump ("B" type).

It underwent rigorous trials between 1987 and 1989, and was accepted by the Government as the new National Standard in 1989. It has remained the National Standard since that time. It gained international status in 1999 when it entered the public domain and international specifications were drawn up by SKAT (Switzerland). The Standards Association of Zimbabwe also house the Zimbabwean Standard Specifications.

The Bush Pump is characterised by the use of a hardwood block made of teak, which acts as a bearing and a lever mechanisms. This has long lasting qualities. The pump stand is sturdy, the handle being made of standard steel water pipe. The pump, when properly made and installed is sturdy and forgiving. It can operate down to great depths, a few reaching down to a depth of 100m. Most operate between 30 and 40m depth on boreholes. The standard version uses a combination of a 600mm long brass cylinder with 50mm steel galvanised pipes and 16mm mild steel rods. The two piston seals are made of leather. A "user friendly" model has also been designed with an "open top" 63.5mm brass cylinder which is used in combination with 65mm galvanised steel pipes and 16mm mild steel rods. The piston seals are made with nitrile rubber. This "open top cylinder version" makes piston seals replacement easier. Piston seal replacement is the most frequently maintenance operation carried out with the Bush Pump.

About 50,000 Bush Pumps have been installed in Zimbabwe, although large numbers of them require rehabilitation. An effective maintenance system needs to be re-established. The "B" type Bush Pump is also used in Namibia. Zimbabwe is the only country in Africa which has standardised on a hand pump which originates in its own country.

It is the longest surviving hand pump on the continent, and is regarded in Zimbabwe as a National Treasure.


Pictures, videos, & downloadable resources

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Water Delivery Test - 53mm Open Top Cylinder model:


Peter Morgan describes an early Murgatroyd Pump installed in 1936:


Zimbabwe Bush Pump operating in Epworth - 1991:


School Innovation (B-type bush pump @ 4:15):


Tinkering With Pumps:


Bush Pump - Down The Hole Experiment:



An experiment in the use of PVC pipe as a pump rod for the Bush Pump. January 2024.

Evolution & Development of the Zimbabwe Bush Pump. July 2023

Observations made on pumps operating in the Harare area. December 2022

Old Timbers. The story of the Zimbabwe Bush Pump. June 2022

A Short History of the Zimbabwe Bush Pump (ppt)

Designing the B type Zimbabwe Bush Pump. 2013

Zimbabwe's Bush Pump. Waterlines 1989

Zimbabwe's user friendly Bush Pump. 1995

Bush Pump features

Zimbabwe Bush Pump. Brief Technical Information

Zimbabwe Standard Specification Cover

Bush Pump Specs. 2013. SAZ.881

Bush Pump. Headworks design for boreholes. 2012

Evaluation of Zimbabwe Bush Pump. 2001

B Type Bush Pump. Research Report to NAC. Jan 1989


Bush Pump. The challenge of using open top cylinders to ease maintenance procedures. July 2023

Bush Pump. Further developments in prolonging the life of the components. July 2023

Bush Pump. Tools and equipment

Bush Pump. Installation Manual. 1992

Bush Pump. Installing the standard 75mm model (ppt)

Bush Pump. Installation manual with notes on maintenance. 2011

Bush Pump. Installation and maintenance. 2010

Bush Pump. An alternative method of lubricating the rear pivot pin. 2022

Bush Pump. Technical methods of reducing down time. 2017

Bush Pump. Hints on maintenance. 2004

Bush Pump. Extending the life of above ground components. 2022

Bush Pump. Extending the life of below the ground components. 2022

Bush Pump. Lifting pipes and rods. 2011

Bush Pump. Raising and lowering 12mm ss rods and piston alone. 2019


Useful templates and tools for examining the B type Bush Pump. 2012

Guidelines on the inspection of the B type Bush Pump. 2012

Bush Pump. Inspection of the pump head. 2012

Bush Pump. Inspection of down the hole components. 2010

Bush Pump. Inspection sheets. Head. 2012

Bush Pump. Inspection sheets. Down the hole. 2012


Bush Pump. Open top 50.8mm brass cylinder model with PVC rising mains. 2017

Bush Pump. Open top 53 mm cylinder model. 2020

Bush Pump. Open top 53mm cylinder model. 2019

Bush Pump. Open top 53mm cylinder model. 2017

Bush Pump. Open top 54mm cylinder and 63mm PVC rising main with bottom support. 2019

Bush Pump. Open top 63mm cylinder model with 75mm PVC rising main. 2016

Bush Pump. Open top 63.5mm cylinder and 75mm PVC rising main with bottom support. 2019

Bush Pump. Open top cylinder model.Gl rising main. 2012


Simple method of measuring water depth in wells and boreholes. 2015

Additional resources on main resource page here


© 2022 Dr Peter Morgan